Coach K: Tips and Techniques to Effectively Attack the 1-2-2 Zone

Looking for ways to consistently exploit a zone defense? Follow along with Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski as he details key offensive techniques and strategies to effectively attack the 1-2-2. Then see how you can start incorporating these terrific zone concepts into your own daily practices. 

A Two-Man Front Attack

Against a one-man front zone, we use similar principles that we’ve highlighted before in the 2-1-2 breakdown. This time, however, look to implement a two-man attack and then put three players along the baseline in what we’ll call “3 Deep Against the 1-2-2.” The goal with the two-man front up top (offensively) is to exploit the gaps of the zone. It’s also vital that players remember key techniques like flashing, staying behind, shallow cuts, and ball reversal.

Spacing and Offensive Moves

After a first run through, watch as Coach K talks with his players about specifics when it comes to spacing and offensive strategies. For instance, “Look for the North-South lanes to open when the zone defense shifts.”

On the heels of one quick rep, Coach K then tells his squad to remember about using pass fakes and quick ball reversal. Use a plethora of moves against the defense. It makes a difference. Also, be aware out there when making cuts. You may get in the way of your teammates and overload certain areas, ultimately making the offense less effective.

Baseline Runner

Finally, adding a baseline runner helps confuse the defense and opens up the zone — especially if that player is a shooting threat. If you have one player doing that constantly, it also gives your teammates a chance to post. However, by staying stagnant, you actually help out the defense.

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball – Attacking the Zone.” To check out more videos featuring zone principles, click here.

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